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AVN8103 Managing a Safety Culture in Aviation

Semester 2, 2021 Online
Short Description: Managing Safety Culture in Avn
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Business
Student contribution band : Professional Pathway Psych
ASCED code : 090799 - Behavioural Science not elsewh
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Tarryn Kille

Other Requisites

Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at


Aviation is a complex high-risk industry which relies on holistic safety efforts across all elements to maintain safety. Safety culture is a method of describing the inherent level of safety within a given operation and is fundamentally dependent on top-down commitment to safety. The course introduces students to the principal concepts of safety and safety culture and provides them with tools to critically appraise and develop elements of safety systems within an aviation context.


The course provides students with an in-depth analysis of the collaborative and holistic safety efforts applied across aviation operations. Safety management systems and processes, and the effects these have on safety and safety culture are examined. The various dimensions of culture, including both international and organisational culture, will be explored and the relationship between culture and safety culture will be analysed. The effects of a valid reporting culture and its safety outcomes will be covered both in theory and from an operational perspective.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. clearly articulate an in-depth knowledge of the relationship between airline safety and safety culture;
  2. describe the critical concepts in variations in national culture in Hofstede’s cultural dimensions;
  3. examine the effects of organisational size, complexity, leadership and commitment to safety on safety culture;
  4. apply an in-depth knowledge of the principal concepts involved in maintaining a just culture;
  5. evaluate the common processes used in ethically sound airline safety reporting and their effects on safety culture;
  6. critically compare and communicate relevant ideas regarding the relationship between effective safety management systems and safety culture.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to aviation safety culture 10.00
2. National culture 15.00
3. Organisational culture 15.00
4. Just culture 20.00
5. Reporting culture 20.00
6. Safety management systems and safety culture 20.00

Text and Materials

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Ferguson, M & Nelson, S 2013, Aviation safety: a balanced industry approach, Cengage Learning Clifton Park, New York.

Reference Materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.

Student Workload Expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 60.00
Directed Study 75.00
Private Study 30.00

Assessment Details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
PEER COLLABORATION 15 15 20 Aug 2021
ASSIGNMENT 1 35 35 10 Sep 2021
ASSIGNMENT 2 50 50 22 Oct 2021

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students’ responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Deferred and Supplementary examinations will be held in accordance with the Assessment Procedure

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment Notes

  1. Referencing in assignments:
    APA is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use APA style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide at

Date printed 8 November 2021